Farmers warned following rise in diesel thefts 

Farmers have been asked to protect their vehicles against increasingly regular fuel thefts in rural areas of Western England.

West Mercia Police warned farmers to protect their vehicles against fuel thefts that have recently been happening across Shropshire. 

Fuel thefts have been reported to West Mercia Police in the following areas: Bishops Castle, Marton, Worthen, and Snailbeach. 

Police Community Support Officer Calvin Brown said: “Please be vigilant and take steps to prevent you from becoming a victim of this crime. Whilst we are working on identifying the offenders, please remember there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself.” 

Concerning issue

According to CrimeStoppers, almost half of farmers say that fuel theft is the rural crime they are most concerned about.  

Criminals can drain a 1,000-litre fuel tank in a matter of minutes, and typically target farms in remote rural locations during the winter months to take advantage of shorter daylight hours.  

This causes acute financial pressure for the farming community, costing thousands of pounds to refill tanks – especially given the current high cost of fuel. 

In February, Shropshire farmers were asked to protect their farms against crime following recent farm burglary and vehicle thefts.

READ MORE: Farmers warned about criminal gangs targeting popular pick-ups

CrimeStoppers advice 

What you can do to reduce the chance of being targeted: 

  • Keep tanks stored close to the property where you can see them. If this isn’t possible, you should consider installing CCTV to watch over isolated tanks and restrict access with walls, fences and hedges. Security lighting such as ‘dusk till dawn’ or motion detection lighting can also be an effective deterrent to thieves. 
  • Remember to check the oil level in your tank regularly. Look for any spilt fuel, marks on the locks or anything else suspicious. 
  • Try to avoid installing a storage tank in an isolated area or outlying building. 
  • Invest in high-quality locks, locking fuel caps and anti-siphoning deterrents, as organised criminals are likely to come equipped to cut through basic locks. 
  • Have you considered using a mobile bowser (tanker) kept in a secure place when not in use? 
  • Use ‘diesel dye, making your diesel traceable and less attractive to thieves. 

Find more rural crime news.

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